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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Vegan Orange Blueberry Bran Muffins

I replaced the eggs in these with "chia eggs". You can do the same thing using ground flax seeds. Just combine 1 tbls chia or flax with 3 tbls warm water, to replace each egg, and set aside until ready to use.

I have been avoiding chia for a while because I first tried it in my oatmeal - the same time I added the dreading pumpkin to it - and I thought the glutinous texture was revolting. But the nutritional profile of chia seeds is impressive (protein, fibre, omega 3 fats, antioxidants, etc.) so I decided to try using them this way.

Turned out yummy, so I think I'll stick to my chia in baked goods and leave it out of my oatmeal!

Don't be scared by the zucchini. It adds nutrition and moistness but you can't taste it. The oranges, blueberries and ginger provide all the yummy flavour.

2 tbls chia seeds + 6 tbls warm water (or use flax or use 2 whole eggs)*
4 small zucchini, ends trimmed and cut into 4 pieces
2 navel oranges, washed and cut into quarters
1 knob fresh ginger, peeled
1/4 cup canola oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup Splenda or sugar
2 cups orange juice or water

2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups natural bran
1 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

Throw zucchini, oranges and ginger into food processor and puree. Dump into a large bowl and whisk together with chia eggs, oil, vanilla, sweetener and juice or water. In medium bowl, combine dry ingredients and then add to the wet, along with blueberries. Mix everything, just until combined. Batter will be thick. Spoon into greased muffin tins, filling them right up. Bake at 400F for about 20-25 minutes. Allow muffins to cool COMPLETELY** before removing from muffin tins.

Makes 12 muffins

*Note that they won't rise quite as much if you use the chia or flax eggs.

**Muffins will be very wet and soft when warm so if you try to remove them, you'll make a mess. Once they are completely cool, they firm up and can be easily transferred to wire rack (or your mouth).